Extra virgin olive oil is the juice obtained by pressing the fruit of the olive tree, carried out exclusively by mechanical processes in controlled temperature conditions to avoid altering the characteristics of the fruit.
Extra virgin olive oil - a definition that allows us to recognize a superior-category oil in accordance with the minimum standards set out in the European regulations (EC Regulation no. 2568/91 as amended) – is made only from healthy fruit, harvested when perfectly ripe.
By law, the processes used to make extra virgin olive oil must not contain chemicals. The olives are processed by mechanical means only, starting from ventilation and washing, necessary to remove dust and foreign bodies. They are then crushed into an olive paste, which is mixed at length to help combine the drops of oil, which will then be separated from the water through the pressing process.
The quality of an extra-virgin olive oil is defined based on an analysis of the chemical and physical parameters, together with a sensory analysis, conducted by a panel of experts able to offer an objective opinion by carrying out an assessment of the oil’s organoleptic characteristics.
One of the essential chemical and physical parameters to assess the quality of EVO oil is free acidity (the concentration of fatty acids expressed in oleic acid), which, by law, cannot exceed 0.8%. If the chemical analysis of an oil shows a higher percentage of free acidity, based on the parameters established, it cannot be classified as extra virgin, and is placed in one of the other categories.